I am always digging further into theories and opinions on happiness. It is something that will continually evolve and develop for each and every single human being.
What I hadn’t considered before however, was the correlation between the words ‘happiness’ and ‘mystery’.
As a professional, you can start to get bogged down with the science behind happiness. Serotonin and oxytocin are vital to this journey, but hearing other people’s pursuits to happiness creates a reality and grounding to what happiness actually means.
I heard of the crime author Sophie Hannah writing a book on the mystery of Happiness. Then I read the review in The Guardian on her new book and I thought it was the ideal piece to delve into and on what happiness vs mystery really means for all of us (and no twists or spoilers here!)
The subtitle of Hannah’s book is ‘66 attempts…’, and this is a profoundly simple and accurate insight into happiness.
This is that happiness doesn’t come to anyone right away, and her journey to find happiness has seen an abundance of u-turns and surprise endings – just like her novels.
When you go through this many ‘failed’ attempts at finding happiness it can feel like you are hitting a dead end.
What it actually can do is help steer you in the right direction.
“…creative prompts that force one into engaging with life, rather than theorising about it”
Even though Hannah had also been one to start obsessing over what Kant had to say, she realised that she needed to start looking further afield. She needed to live to find happiness, rather than dwelling on what had passed and being book-smart on what happiness is.
The two fundamental steps to happiness are:
- Learn from the past rather than dwell
- Build stepping stones for a happier future
“…there’s a twist, which is also an epiphany”
An epiphany is almost always a twist. It’s the shock ending and the unexpected resolution to a whodunit. Which is why you will never know what could be around the corner and what that thing is that could make you happy.
This statement epitomises finding a state of happiness and how to control expectations for yourself.
Life carries with it many surprise endings, and you can take control of this as much as you are capable of, but be realistic and never try to guess what could be around the corner (like a global pandemic).
What I want you to take from this is that finding happiness is the ultimate mystery, and always will be.
You can take control of finding happiness, but it is something to always be reaching for and always be open to change and adaptation for yourself and the world.
If you want more tips on happiness, check out my video here: